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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Under Cover: The Science of The Bedrooms

Art Institute / Chicago / Art

Vincent van Gogh moved into what he called the “Yellow House”—in Arles, France—in 1888, and soon did a painting of his bedroom there. When the canvas suffered water damage, he painted a nearly identical version in 1889, while in a mental asylum. A few weeks later he painted the bedroom a third time, in a slightly smaller size. Today the three bedrooms are housed in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. This video is about the collaborative effort of these three museums to document the differences between their paintings. Through x-ray and chemical analysis, conservators expose the telling variations—in pigment and brushstroke style—that lie beneath the surfaces. —C.J.F.

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